As for Palin: "Her demeanor is as positive and peppy as ever, but the criticism evidently took a toll," Alessandra Stanley writes in The New York Times. "Even in her kitchen in Wasilla, Alaska, preparing dinner for the family and visiting reporters (moose chili for Greta Van Susteren, a haddock and salmon casserole for [Matt] Lauer), Ms. Palin seemed frozen in the bubble of campaign past, fighting to make her case above the whispers of aides, handlers and media consultants."
Who's happy with Palin mania? How about John McCain: "The Palin obsession -- which she has fed by going on a media tour and returning to the Lower 48 for the RGA meeting -- obscures the mistakes McCain made in his own campaign (though some would say one of those was in picking the Alaska governor)," Politico's Jonathan Martin writes. "The central debate in the GOP is not now what typically takes place after a party loses -- what the candidate did wrong or whether he ran too far to the left, right or middle."
You know the election is really over when . . . John Edwards and Mark Foley make public appearances on the very same day.
Edwards, D-N.C., managed not to talk about the one thing everyone wants him to talk about: "In prepared remarks he spoke about the 2008 presidential race, but made no mention of his headline-grabbing admission that sent him into seclusion for past three months," per ABC's Raelyn Johnson. "Following his remarks, Edwards answered presubmitted questions from students. He was reportedly paid $35,000 for his speech."
Foley, R-Fla., chats with the AP's Brian Skoloff, in his first interview since resigning his House seat in 2006. "There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, 'Stop,' or 'I'm not enjoying this,' or 'This is inappropriate' . . . but again, I'm the adult here, I'm the congressman," Foley said. "The fact is I allowed it to happen. That's where my responsibility lies."
Skoloff: "Still, he said, there was no hypocrisy. 'The work I was doing was involving young children ... You know, you hear the term "pedophile." That is prepubescent,' Foley said, noting a 'huge difference' from lurid chats with teens on the brink of adulthood. 'At the end of the day, they were instant messages that were extraordinarily inappropriate,' " he added, breathing a heavy sigh, his eyes wandering toward the ceiling."
Does he take blame for GOP losses in Congress? "They had the Republicans on a number of ethical scandals and, you know, I served up for them the moral dilemma," Foley said.
President Bush starts looking back: "I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said," Bush told CNN's Heidi Collins when asked to reflect on his regrets over his two terms as president. "Like 'dead or alive' and 'bring 'em on.' My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say."
On the book he's planning: "I want people to know what its like to make some of the decisions I had to make -- what was the moment like? I've had one of these presidencies where I had to make some tough calls. I want people to know the truth about what it was like sitting in the Oval Office, but it's going take a lot of thought and a lot of work to get it out, and it will be an interesting project."
On Obama: "Clearly this guy is going to bring a great sense of family to the White House."